WICHITA, Kan. — The course of action to modernize the process for Kansas’ vehicle title and registration and driver licensing systems is being rerouted.
The Kansas Department of Revenue informed county treasurers Thursday that, “KDOR has decided to bring our contract with 3M to conclusion and complete the modernization work ourselves,” as written in an email by Lisa Kaspar, the Director of Vehicles.
KSN spoke with Jeannine Koranda, the public information officer for the Kansas Department of Revenue, regarding the change.
“The department determined that the best and most cost-efficient option for the state was to handle the maintenance and future development of our vehicle system internally,” said Koranda.
The decision reportedly came naturally.
“This is kind of a natural breaking point because we’ve got the first system stabilized and then we hadn’t gone too far down the track with the second system,” continued Koranda.
The department has expressed confidence in the skill level of their own IT staff members to take on the future development.
In 2009, the process began to upgrade tag and driver license computerization. Technology company, 3M, won the public bid.
The vehicle title and registration system, as outlined by 3M, did not roll out until 2012, which was later than expected. The driver license system upgrade was planned to roll out in 2011, after the first system, but the delay changed that schedule.
With the announcement Thursday that the state is ending the 3M contract early, Kaspar said there is no “go-live date” for the driver license system. The Kansas department will develop a new project plan to complete it, based on a foundation set up with the 3M software.
Although the state ended the contract, using the KDOR team for future development is expected to be more efficient and likely save the state money.
The state paid $18.7 million toward the contract that was originally priced for about $22 million, saving Kansas more than $3 million.
Kansas Department of Revenue and Sedgwick County representatives insist that the decision to conclude the contract with 3M should not impact anything from the perspective of system users or customers.
“It’s still going to be the same type of programming, same type of screens for my clerks to use, same type of information that we’ll require from the customers,” said Linda Kizzire, the Sedgwick Co. treasurer.
Regardless, Wichitans remember the 2012 technology mess and hope this change will not create longer lines at the DMV.
“When I came, I came early in the morning and was the first in line, so I got in and got out, and by the time it happened, I was already gone,” said Susan Hilliard, a DMV customer.
“It was slow! I was sitting here for two hours,” said Anthony Corby, another DMV customer.
Kizzire told KSN the online element, also through the Department of Revenue, will not change.
“It’s a very smooth, effective, easy way to renew tags with your renewal notice,” said Kizzire. “You just enter your PIN number in, enter your payment type in, we process them here locally, and get the decals back out to you in the next day.”
The Sedgwick Co. treasurer remains hopeful.
“I have a great deal of faith in the Kansas Department of Revenue and their IT staff, and I do believe this is going to be a good and a positive change for all the citizens in Kansas,” said Kizzire.
Kaspar also details in the email that the change “will not affect department staffing levels.”
To read the email in its entirety, click here.